Christmas Special: Moroccan Roast Chicken With Quinoa, Pistachio & Currant Stuffing

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 2kg Inglewood Organic whole chicken (or Macro Organic Woolworths Chicken – tag number #4528)


Moroccan Chicken Marinade

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp dried coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp sumac


Quinoa, Pistachio & Currant Stuffing

  • 1 1/2 cups white quinoa
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried coriander, ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup pistachio, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lemon


To Garnish

  • 1/2 cup mint sprigs
  • 1/2 pomegranate, ariels removed


Lemon, Garlic & Sumac Tahini Dressing

  • 2 tbsp hulled tahini
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk yoghurt
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 1 x clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sumac


Roast Vegetables

  • 500g new potatoes
  • 500g butternut pumpkin, sliced into large pieces
  • 2 bunches dutch carrots, stalks removed
  • 6 pieces of corn


Instructions

Make ahead:Quinoa, Pistachio & Currant Stuffing

In a small bowl add the quinoa seeds and add water to cover. Swirl around to rinse the grains. This will stop the quinoa from being bitter. Drain and set aside.

In a large fry pan over a medium heat add a little olive oil and add the red onion, celery and garlic. Saute for 5-8 minutes until translucent. Add the spices and fry for about a minute until fragrant. Add the rinsed quinoa and chicken stock. Put the lid on and simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool down completely.

Stir in the currants, lemon zest, pistachios, parsley and mint and toss to combine the ingredients. Place the stuffing mix into a bowl and place in the fridge until you require it.


Moroccan Roast Chicken

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (fanbake). In a large roasting pan add a small wire trivet to cook the chicken on. Remove the chicken from the packaging and pat down with paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Place onto the wire trivet in the roasting pan breast side up.

Add 2 cups worth of the Quinoa, Pistachio & Currant Stuffing to a small bowl and add the egg. Stir to combine. Gently spoon the stuffing mixture into the bird pressing it in firmly as you go. Cap the entrance of the cavity with a half a lemon. Tie the legs of the bird together with cooking twine.


Moroccan Chicken Marinade

Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper & spices in a small jug. Pour over the chicken and rub into the skin.


Roast Vegetables

Add the cut roast vegetables to the same roasting pan as the chicken. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes per 500g of chicken. (i.e a 2kg chicken would cook for 2 hours)


Lemon, Garlic & Sumac Tahini Dressing

In a small bowl add the tahini, coconut yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and sumac. Stir to combine. Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of sumac and a sprig of mint.


Assembly

15 minutes before the chicken is ready to be cooked bring a large saucepan half filled with salted water up to the boil. Add in the corn cobs and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.

Add the remaining Quinoa, Pistachio & Currant Stuffing to a decorative bowl and garnish with extra pistachios, pomegranate arils and mint leaves.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving. Arrange it on a large platter with the roast veggies surrounding it. Garnish the platter with pomegranate arils and mint leaves. Don’t forget to gather the pan juices into a jug for drizzling over the chicken.


Cooks Notes

Make sure you have defrosted the chicken the day before cooking so you know that it isn’t frozen in the centre!!

Make the Quinoa, Pistachio & Currant Stuffing, Moroccan Chicken Marinade and the Lemon, Garlic & Sumac Tahini Dressing the day or two before. Store in the fridge until you need them on the day.

You could also have the roast vegetables precut and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Photos and recipe by Melissa Darr, The Whimsical Wife
Blog site: https://www.thewhimsicalwife.com